Up Bruin Walk and into the Elevator

While hiking up Bruin Walk today, I noticed that my right arm was decorated with black and blue spots. Oh. Just lovely. I pressed on my newly developed bruises, only to realize that they were not hurting. Weird, huh? I must have developed some sort of immunity to pain. Woot.

And then another weird thing happened. I found someone’s driver’s license between Pauley Pavillion and the IM field. Having some experience with lost Bruin cards before,  I FB’ed the person and managed to return it to the owner via Ackerman’s Lost & Found Center. Yes, I made one person very happy today and saved them $25. Go me. If only someone could save ME $25…if only.

As I kept on climbing the Hill, my floormate, Jenny, called me about move-in assistant (MIA) duty shifts for tomorrow morning. Apparently, I hit the jackpot., winning a 7:45AM – 12:00PM shift in the DeNeve/Dykstra Parking Lot. Oh joy. That means heaps of sunblock and gallons of water for tomorrow. *sigh* I suppose this is fair compensation for moving in early on Tuesday into the dorms and being fed…and getting a nifty cool MIA shift…for FREE. Otherwise, MIA duties are relatively boring so far. I mean, I’m assigned to duties that I’m overly qualified for. Can’t any ten-year old stuff lunch pails, put them in rooms, and decorate the walls too? Fortunately, I have APHC and research to keep me occupied on the side.

After receiving the news, I finally got back up to De Neve and rode the elevator. [Yes, folks. Monica has committed a crime, but please bear with her.] Strangely enough, I had a sudden lightbulb moment, while riding my way up to the 5th floor. I thought of my elevator speech that I would say if I ever met a potential employer at a career fair…or simply in the elevator. Below is the thiry-second spiel that started running in my head.

“So nice to meet you! *grins broadly* My name is ___. *shakes imaginary hand enthusiastically* I’m a current junior at UCLA in pursuit of a Chemistry B.S. I know you’re probably thinking…what can this undergrad do for me? Well, I’m seeking employment after 2010. I’ve worked part-time in a quality control lab for almost three years and am particularly interested in alternative energy. As an undergrad, I’ve been developing more efficient solar cells for a while now. Do you have a moment right now? *assuming the person says yes* Here is my resume. I really look forward to meeting with you. If you need any further info, please let contact me. Thanks.”

I think this still needs more takes…and variations for different jobs (i.e. health/green management-related jobs, grad school). I mean, admittedly, my elevator speech for green jobs is not that bad. I suppose that I could make myself even more marketable by includings bits and pieces about my other relevant experiences (i.e. quadrilingual skills, programming, website design, leadership skills, musical abilities). Of course…I still need to work on all the above. Like crazy. Seriously. Work + research all this summer has made me so much more modest about the things I know about my field. I’m still a novice, but at least I’m making a decent effort.

According to GMS sources, I’m pretty much on track for a junior. [Can you say hooray?] That makes me slightly pleased, yet I know I can do better.

Wow. That little stroll up Bruin Walk was amazingly eventful and career-oriented. The only disappointing moment today was when I realized that I had consumed 1500 calories (!) when I’ve usually been intaking < 1100 calories. That deflates my happiness bubble quite a bit.



Realities of Grad School

Lightly comical yet so fuhreakin’ true, especially the bit about our perception of science when we were young versus when we actually dive into it.

It’s not easy being a postgraduate student. Sure, there’s an intellectual challenge and the motivation that comes from doing work you’re genuinely interested in, at least most of the time. But there’s also a lot of poverty, difficulty adjusting to studying in a new environment, loneliness and worry about thefuture. We wish we could solve these problems….but HOW?


Riding on the Green Bandwagon

It is definitely no surprise that the “go green” idea is becoming increasingly more ubiquitous. And for good reason too. With an ever growing global population compounded by an insatiable need for basic resources (namely, food) and for energy to increase the quality of our lives, we need to figure out how we will live in order to be sustainable beings on…ONE earth, not multiple ones.

I mean, come on. I’m a vegetarian, a recycler, a carpooler, and a walker (most of the times). I even do research on solar cells in an idealized attempt to contribute to researching and developing alternative energy. You can almost always count on me to turn off unused lights, computers, TV sets, and other appliances. If anything, you’d think that these lifestyle habits are enough to designate me as a pretty green person. Yet, according to an online carbon footprint quiz, if everyone lives the way that I currently do, we’d need 2.9 earths!!! What about everyone else who lives in developed countries, like the U.S.? Five earths or more would probably be needed to accomodate everyone…and we’d be pretty much screwed.

Suddenly, images from Wall.E don’t seem so farfetched anymore. -_- I can’t help but be disappointed at myself. Evidently, there are more ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint, and that means more changes on my part. For me to reduce my ecological impact, I’d not only have to give up on living in a house and not driving a car, but I’d also need to recycle even MORE products and purchase more locally grown food products. That means taking more public transportation (more researching on bus/train schedules), biking (I can’t even remember the last time I biked), or purchasing a hybrid vehicle (another instance that reminds us that money just doesn’t grow on trees). In terms of living conditions, I’d need to figure out ways to convince my parents to install solar panels and energy-saving materials for our current home..or move into the apartments. I can already tell that the latter idea will not bode well with my mom. As for recycling, I need to become more educated on what can and cannot be recycled and more importantly…where. It seems possible that I can reduce my footprint on earth if I make the effort. *sigh*

As a voracious reader and subscriber of environmental/green news, I’ve managed to dig up a few sites, courtesy of EcoGeek, The Green Guide, EcoRazzi, and Good Magazine. They are my knights in shining armor. *_*

[ Earth 911 ] : A great reference site for you to look up your nearest recycling location, simply by typing in your zip code or item you want to recycle.

[ Green Wikia ] : Al Gore’s dream has come true, courtesy of Wales! Yet, somehow…I feel that Wikipedia decided to launch this component waaaaay too late in the game and suggests of a greenwashing (company putting a green spin on a particular product) effort. We’ll see how this goes.

[ Good – The Economy ] : The themes presented aren’t anything new to the green scene, but the video serves as a reminder of what we are and will face if we don’t end our fatal affair with oil. The effects extend beyond the realm of the environment and has drawbacks on our employment rate, food prices, etc.

[ CO2 World ] : Good Magazine creators obviously spent a lot of time laying out this carbon footprint analysis of the world. It’s worth a look…and read.